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Does zonation and accessibility of wetlands influence human presence and mediate wildlife disturbance?

journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Patrick GuayPatrick Guay, Wouter Van DongenWouter Van Dongen, E M McLeod, Desley WhissonDesley Whisson, Quan VuQuan Vu, H Wang, Mike WestonMike Weston
Zoning is one approach to managing human occurrence and reducing deleterious interactions between humans and wildlife. We investigated the occurrence of humans, and the responses of eight waterbird species to humans, at a major wetland/treatment plant/birdwatching destination. Human occurrence in three zones (‘open birdwatching’, ‘limited birdwatching’ and ‘restricted access’) was monitored using GPS tracking of visitor vehicles, surveys, geotagged social media uploads and remotely triggered cameras (on primary and secondary roadways). A higher diversity (but not frequency) of vehicle types and more walkers, more social media uploads, and greater usage occurred in zones in which birdwatching was permitted. Vehicles were less common and diverse on secondary roads, suggesting accessibility influenced human occurrence. Bird responsiveness to humans was similar across zones, perhaps because people were ubiquitous or because birds were mobile. Wildlife disturbance studies which use space-experience substitution designs are cautioned to test their assumptions regarding patterns of human visitation.

History

Journal

Journal of environmental planning and management

Volume

62

Issue

8

Pagination

1306 - 1320

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0964-0568

eISSN

1360-0559

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2018, Newcastle University